Wink, the smart home hub specialist who actually used to be a great company before Will.i.Am got his hands on it, is moving to a subscription model.
However, don't go thinking that the new $4.99 monthly charge unlocks some tasty new features for your Wink Hub. Nope... it simply means it will carry on working. If you don't cough up the monthly fee, your smart home hub will become a useless slab of plastic.
"Should you choose not to sign up for a subscription you will no longer be able to access your Wink devices from the app, with voice control or through the API, and your automations will be disabled on May 13," reads the email that's just been sent out to all Wink users.
It's a kick in the teeth for anyone who relies on Wink hardware to automate their Bluetooth LE, ZigBee, Z-Wave, Kidde, or Lutron Clear Connect devices.
Certainly when people purchased their Wink device they would have never known that up front cost would have a limited life.
"Wink has relied solely on the one-time fee derived from hardware sales to cover ongoing cloud costs, development and customer support," the company explains. "Providing users with local and remote access to their devices will always come at a cost for Wink, and over the years we have made great progress toward reducing these costs so that we can maintain that feature."
The company, which has actually been pretty silent for a year or so now despite a large active community seeking reassurances, is therefore now asking for more money from an already exacerbated audience. And it hasn't gone down too well, as you can probably imagine.
Nobody agreed to a monthly fee when we bought your hub. Now you are charging ransom....... Pay us or throw your hub in the trash. I believe a lawsuit is in order.
‚ÄĒ Michael Kaplan (@MichaelKaplan59) May 6, 2020
Our advice: don't pay the fee. Don't give Wink any more of your money. It's not worth the risk; the company is - reportedly - a mess.